Tonight’s featured poet is someone I’ve known since she was in eighth grade and first applying to the high school where I teach. I noticed her immediately because she was so accomplished already at a young age, and I had the pleasure of working with her when she took my classes in high school. Her senior year, she was editor-in-chief of our school’s award-winning literary magazine and then went on to become a poetry editor for the publication at her college.
Melanie Rosin was born in Houston, Texas. She studied accounting and English at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and is about to begin law school at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Melanie’s collection of poems, Four Feet from the Surface, was published in 2011 by Neo Literati Press.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
after Yusef Komunyakaa’s “Facing It”
Lost names stain my lips.
I walk alongside the wall,
and the bitter taste never leaves me,
only intensified as I continue to read.
Here they are,
and here I am,
so many of us,
separated by so many years
yet somehow together
when I open my eyes.
I touch the names that march in place
(a mark of the dedication of those
who will never leave their posts),
and in this stark reflection,
hands touch hands —
a warm connection that flowers
from the contact of my palm
to another on the glass —
and for a moment,
I think the other belongs to one of the names
on the gabbro wall.